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Thursday, 5 April 1973
Page: 1121


Mr MacKELLAR (WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - In addressing my question to the Prime Minister I refer him to the Press conference he gave on Tuesday, 13th March last, during which, in answer to a question, he said: 'Australia is not discernibly affected by nuclear tests by China'. I ask the Prime Minister: Has radioactive fall-out from Chinese nuclear tests been registered in Australia? In order to justify his statement which I have just quoted, will he inform the House of the relevant percentages of total radioactive fall-out registered in Australia attributable to Chinese and French nuclear tests?


Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - All atmospheric nuclear tests have an effect, wherever they take place in the globe. In general terms, the effect of the Chinese nuclear tests is only one-tenth as great in Australia as the effect of the French nuclear tests at Mururoa. However, I emphasise that it is not only the question of degree which makes the French tests more actionable than the Chinese tests. There is a jurisdictional element which applies to France and does not apply to China. In other words, Australia can, we believe, take action in the International Court of Justice against France because of her atmospheric tests, action which is not available to Australia to take against China in the Court.







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